Journalist Ben Strong is stuck. He isn’t caught in the middle of truth versus lie to sell a story, because he’s willing to go to any lengths to avoid being fired. Actually, after a near miss of killing someone with his car, he soon finds himself, and everyone else in Los Angeles, quarantined. Ben spews vulgarity at anyone to get his point across, and this introduction doesn’t seem to improve when he nearly kills a mother and baby. Granted, he did have the right away, but playing on your phone while driving is extremely hazardous – our main character is relieved, “Just a little blood. No big deal.”
I first became aware of Christie Shinn’s intriguing artwork in Caligula Imperatore Insanum (Vol 1), where I fell in love with her ability to tell a story with her drawings. Shinn has the capability to bring emotion into her work, and that is extremely clear in A Murder of Crows: And Other Horrible Things to See.
On the outskirts of the “real world,” a rural empire provides for its citizens without the aid of those outside of its borders. This “Grass Kingdom” doesn’t want or need any help, and its ruler Robert leads his community while attempting to lead his own life back to some semblance of normalcy – after his daughter, Rose, disappeared years ago. The strain of her absence and the unknowing behind it became unbearable for him and his wife Amber until she also left, leaving him all alone with his misery.
A Hand of Fingers provides readers with some insightful and funny stories with its collected works from creator John Robbins. These short stories and comics traverse a wide range of interesting and odd tales that are quite unique, offering some profound moments in life.
The zombie genre has been fighting to stay relevant for some time now, often endlessly repeating the same tropes, drawing the same conclusions about humanity, and - when in desperate straits - resorting to empty, gruesome violence. There’s been very little truly original in the zombie genre since George Romero’s seminal films which not only kicked off the craze but stayed ahead of the curve and continue to put most attempts to shame. Aside from the occasional television or cinematic victory, eventually, all genre fare falls into this cycle, struggling to find an original voice. Without something to drive the story forward that isn’t zombies, you can expect standard biting and chewing of human flesh. All of that has its place, but as a reader (viewer), I like to be excited, surprised and thrilled. The Walking Dead swings back and fourth dramatically from one end of the spectrum to the other, Shaun of the Dead mattered because it poked fun at all of those tropes while finding its own emotional center, and World War Z (the book) grounded the zombie apocalypse in a real-world setting with real world consequences.
It’s Adventure Time, Lumpy Space Princess style! Everyone’s favorite purple gal embarks on a treasure hunt with the lovable Tree Trunks as her guide; Finn, Jake, and BMO decide to follow in order “keep an eye on them” (definitely not spying). Writer Josh Trujillo makes excellent use of the series’ main cast while expanding upon Tree Trunks’ rough-and-tumble past and her role as mother to an adorable, giant, soul-stealing lich baby. Returning characters like the androgynous and musical Guildmaster as a nemesis to LSP and new characters Cameron and Tess the Zombie (fraternal) Twins round out the cast.
This month brings the final issue of Dark Horse Comics’ Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse, written by Chris Roberson and featuring the art of Georges Jeanty, in what will surely be a bittersweet ending for fans who’ve been following along.
In the alternate fictional reality of Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem #1, Prince Dracula was not defeated by Van Helsing and company. Instead, he became the ruler of Great Britain, which encouraged vampires to emerge from the darkness, making for a Victorian London rampant with vampires. Dracula has ruled for 10 years now, and a resistance group is making plans to overthrow him, while others are planning his jubilee. The premise for this tale is brilliant in the way that Prince Dracula essentially becomes a political figure with those who publically celebrate him in contrast to those who want to usurp him. Adding the animal creatures that Dracula also commands demonstrates his complete power over man, animal, and undead. Kim Newman’s plot is a wonderful spin on the Victorian Gothic vampire problem.